State calls off bidding on East Boston railroad right-of-way

Globe Staff


State calls off bidding on East Boston railroad right-of-way

State transportation officials have dropped their plans to sell easements for an unused railroad right-of-way along Chelsea Creek in East Boston and Revere after politicians and community members raised concerns. Instead, the state Department of Transportation will conduct a comprehensive review of the entire Route 1A corridor in that area, with an eye toward potential mobility improvements. Cargo Ventures had been planning to bid for the mile-plus-long stretch, which runs parallel to busy Route 1A, to create an access road that could serve the company’s adjacent industrial properties. The proposed route would have given truck drivers direct access to Logan Airport, by connecting with the Coughlin Bypass. Bids were due on July 30. But two former transportation secretaries and the Conservation Law Foundation wrote separate letters last week to state officials, criticizing the process and calling for it to be stopped until more planning is done for the area. Joe Aiello, chairman of the MBTA fiscal and management control board, had been among the officials calling for more planning first before selling the land. Aiello announced the end of the bidding process and the start of a comprehensive corridor review during the board’s meeting on Monday. — JON CHESTO


Resorts in New Hampshire, Vermont among 17 being sold to Vail

Vail Resorts plans to take over 17 US ski areas from the Northeast to the Midwest by acquiring Peak Resorts for $264 million. They include Attitash Mountain Resort, Crotched Mountain, and Wildcat Mount in New Hampshire, and Mount Snow in Vermont. The other ski areas are in Indiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. The newly acquired resorts would be included in Vail’s Epic season pass program, which allows holders to ski at various Vail-owned properties. The company says the deal is expected to close this fall if regulators and shareholders approve. Vail says it plans to spend about $15 million over the next two years on improvements at the properties. Vail owns 20 other ski areas in the United States, Canada, and Australia. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Tofurky sues over ban on use of ‘meat’ in labeling

A meat-alternative food company has filed a lawsuit in federal court claiming an Arkansas law that bans the use of ‘‘meat’’ in labeling plant-based foods violates free speech rights. Oregon-based Tofurky Co. filed the lawsuit Monday against Arkansas’ Bureau of Standards. Tofurky produces a variety of tofu, quinoa, and other plant-based ‘‘sausages,’’ deli slices and burgers. The Arkansas law’s stated goal is to ‘‘require truth in labeling.’’ It also bans companies from labeling other vegetables, such as cauliflower, as ‘‘rice.’’ Arkansas is the nation’s top rice producer. Tofurky filed a lawsuit in 2018 against a Missouri meat-labeling law. This month, Illinois-based Upton’s Naturals Co. challenged a Mississippi law. Arkansas’ law is set to take effect Wednesday. It would fine companies up to $1,000 for each violation. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Boeing’s credit rating could take a hit

Boeing Co.’s credit rating is at risk as the grounding of the 737 Max drags into a fifth month, Fitch Ratings said. Uncertainty around the return to service of Boeing’s best-selling jet and the “growing logistical challenge” of getting parked planes back in the air threaten the company’s credit, Fitch Ratings said in a statement Monday. Fitch affirmed Boeing’s A rating while cutting the outlook to negative, the first credit warning after the grounding, which was prompted by two deadly crashes. In the longer term, the Max’s grounding presents a significant public-relations challenge that will remain a risk for “Boeing’s reputation and brand” into next year and beyond, Fitch said. There’s also a danger that the company will have to make costlier concessions to airlines, Fitch said. Boeing last week disclosed a $4.9 billion after-tax charge to cover potential consideration for customers who have been forced to cancel flights. “Fitch also expects there will be a lingering operating-margin impact for several years after the 737 Max returns to service,” the ratings company said. Fitch’s rating on Boeing is the sixth-highest investment-grade level. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Egg glut driving down prices for consumers

Surging egg supplies that are driving down prices for US consumers saw the nation’s top producer post its first net loss in six quarters. The number of hens in the United States are near a record high, and they are more productive than ever. Average market prices fell by more than half from a year ago in the Southeast, Cal-Maine Foods Inc. said in a statement Monday. ‘‘The unfavorable supply and demand balance and anticipated future egg supply growth trends have continued to affect market prices and our business,’’ chief executive Dolph Baker said. ‘‘If these trends continue, we expect further pressure on market prices through calendar 2019.’’ Volatile feed costs are also on the horizon, Baker said. Wild weather, including one of the wettest planting seasons on record, has dimmed the grain-supply outlook at a time trade tensions disrupts demand. The average price of a dozen eggs at retail costs $1.203 in the United States, according to government data. That’s down 26 percent from a year earlier. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



NY attorney general objects to phony heiress’s Netflix deal

Prosecutors want to prevent the fake German heiress and convicted swindler Anna Sorokin from profiting from her highly publicized case. The New York Attorney General’s Office recently invoked a state law that forbids criminals from profiting off their crimes in a court challenge to a Netflix deal Sorokin signed last year. Prosecutors say proceeds from the production should go to the Manhattan banks and hotels Sorokin defrauded out of nearly $200,000. Sorokin’s attorney didn’t immediately comment Monday. Sorokin lived a lavish lifestyle in New York’s high society and duped banks and celebrities into believing she was a wealthy heiress. She was sentenced in May to four to 12 years in prison after being convicted of grand larceny and theft. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Microsoft to pay more than $25m to settle corruption charges

Microsoft is paying more than $25 million to settle federal corruption charges involving a bribery scheme in Hungary and other foreign offices. The US Securities and Exchange Commission said Microsoft will pay about $16.6 million to settle charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. While the case centered on Hungary, the SEC said it also found improprieties at Microsoft offices in Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Turkey. The Justice Department said Microsoft will also pay an $8.75 million criminal fine stemming from the Hungarian bid-rigging and bribery scheme. Federal prosecutors said that from 2013 through 2015, a senior executive and other employees at the Hungary office took part in a scheme to ‘‘inflate margins in the Microsoft sales channel’’ in connection with Microsoft software licenses sold to Hungarian government agencies. Savings were falsely recorded as discounts and used for corrupt purposes, the prosecutors said. Microsoft president Brad Smith said in a letter to employees Monday that the misconduct was ‘‘completely unacceptable’’ and involved a small number of employees. Smith outlined changes to prevent public sector discounts from being used improperly and said the company is expanding its use of artificial intelligence to flag suspicious transactions. — ASSOCIATED PRESS